Quicken 2012
Quicken 2012

Best personal accounting software

Intuit's Quicken personal finance software is the clear industry leader, experts say. Quicken links to far more financial institutions than any other software package and has more advanced features. Quicken 2012 has some added features over previous versions; reviewers praise the improved budgeting function and say the software is easier to set up and use. The Deluxe version (*Est. $35) is best for those who want detailed tracking of checking, savings, bill payment, budgeting and 401(k) or IRA accounts. Quicken Premier (*Est. $50) is a better choice for those who have complex investments or own property.
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Moneydance
Moneydance

Alternative personal accounting software

Experts say Moneydance offers all the features Quicken does except the financial-planning tools -- without the annoying ads. It includes a backup utility so you can set up automatic backups and store data, and you can also encrypt data for added security. A free trial download lets you manually input 100 transactions and import an unlimited number, so you can see for yourself whether Moneydance meets your needs.
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*Est. $50 Estimated Price
You Need A Budget 4
You Need A Budget 4

Budgeting and debt-management software

If you need help sticking to a budget and paying down debt, experts say You Need A Budget (YNAB) will help many people design and stick to a budget, reduce debt and accumulate savings. Users find the software easy to set up and use, and customer support is reported to be excellent. YNAB 4 includes a revamped interface, plus a host of new features, including the ability to sync your financials across devices, new income and spending reports, and more organizational tools. YNAB doesn't automatically download transactions or track investments, unlike other financial software. Its initial cost is higher than other options, but you can get a free 34-day trial, and it comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee and free support.
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*Est. $60 Estimated Price
AceMoney Lite
AceMoney Lite

Free personal accounting software

AceMoney Lite is a free, open-source personal finance application rated highly by reviewers. It provides most of the features found in purchased personal finance programs, including budgeting, analysis of spending habits, online banking and multi-currency transactions. Reviewers particularly praise its friendly interface and ease of use. AceMoney Lite supports only two accounts, however, so you'll have to upgrade to the full version of AceMoney (*Est. $40) if you need to track more than that.
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